Awakening with Eckhart Tolle

By Glauce Fleury

The Canadian actor Jim Carrey once said, “I would do anything to be anywhere in the vicinity of Eckhart Tolle.” I’ll experience this soon.

The author, who’s also known as a spiritual teacher, will be at Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 16, in Vancouver, B.C., for what they’re calling “An Evening with Eckhart Tolle.”

I suspect that this event is going to be one of those transcendental experiences that I’ll remember forever.

I hadn’t read any of his books until last year. In summer I slowly digested A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. What prompted me to read it was a disturbing situation I blogged about a few months ago.

A New Earth helped me understand the concept of ego from a spiritual perspective, something that goes beyond the meaning we find on the dictionary.

Jesus asked, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Tolle responds: “Because when I criticize or condemn another, it makes me feel bigger, superior.”

This passage resonates with me. Last year someone told me that I “pretended” to be a kind person when, in fact, I carried dishonesty, selfishness, insecurity and spite. Oh, wow.

I’d never heard such harsh words before. I needed to vent, so I reached out a few folks who have been in my life for 20 years. They all smiled and said, “This person doesn’t know you. But you know who you are.”

They helped me feel grounded again, so I remembered what I’d just read: we can only be in a nonreactive state if we’re able to “recognize someone’s behaviour as coming from the ego.” When I didn’t take the other’s behaviour personally, it prevented me from reacting. Bingo!

Another important lesson that A New Earth brings is that we shouldn’t be so determined to being right (which, by the way, damages our relationships and makes our lives a nightmare).

According to Tolle, nothing strengthens the ego more than being right — an identification with, for example, an opinion or a story. “For you to be right, of course, you need someone else to be wrong,” he says.

Why do we need this identification? The author has the answer: to get a stronger sense of who we are. To be (as the “right one”) in a position of superiority.

This book taught me much more than I had imagined. I’ve been practising what I learned day after day by fighting my own ego. It’s not enough to have a pretty speech. Words go with the wind. What’s left is the respect showed to the ones we disagreed with and, maybe, our ability to accommodate.

As I’m on this planet to learn and I don’t know more than anyone else, while I wait for April 16, I’ll go back to my newly purchased copy of The Power of Now. Hope to finish it before being in the vicinity of this amazing human being.

An Evening with Eckhart Tolle
When: April 16, 2016, 7:30–9:30pm
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre (650 Hamilton St., Vancouver, BC – V6B 5N6)
Tickets: $47–$197 (but when I wrote this post, the ticket with the lowest price available was $97). You can find tickets at Eventbrite.

Photo credit: The Hour via Flickr.

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